reflexive passive

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Gordon Freeman

Member
Russian
Hi,

I found this in the article about the verb elää.

verbs: frequentatives elellä; momentane elähtää; causative elättää; reflexive eläytyä; passive elpyä

I know that when I see a -ua or -utua in the ending of a verb, the action of that verb is in some way directed on the actor themselves. These verbs are produced from their let us call them basic verbs when -aa changes to -ua, or -utua is added, or in some other similar ways. But now that I met this article, I don't know what they meant that the verb with -ytyä is reflexive, and the verb with -yä is passive.
I thought that the difference in these endings is purely morphological, and they basically mean the same thing. I am entirely at a loss as to what they meant when they called elpyä passive. Does that mean that this verb is only used in passive forms? And what does it mean that eläytyä is reflexive. Does that perhaps mean that that verb may or must take itse as an object?
 
  • Määränpää

    Senior Member
    Finnish
    I am entirely at a loss as to what they meant when they called elpyä passive. Does that mean that this verb is only used in passive forms? And what does it mean that eläytyä is reflexive. Does that perhaps mean that that verb may or must take itse as an object?
    No and no. I think they are talking about meaning, not about grammatical form.

    "Elpyä" (recover) has a passive meaning because the subject does it passively/unconsciously (minä elvyn, sinä elvyt, hän elpyy...), and "eläytyä" (embody a role?) has a reflexive meaning because even though there is no grammatical object (the word "itse" cannot be used here), oneself is the "real" object (the subject puts himself/herself in someone's shoes)
     

    Marko55

    Senior Member
    Finnish
    The reflexive ending (-utua/-ytyä) is very clear in this example (pestä/peseytyä):
    Pesin autoni. (I washed my car.)
    Peseydyin aamulla. (I washed myself in the morning.)

    The difference between the verbs elää and eläytyä is more abstract. Compare:
    Hän eläytyi rooliinsa.
    In English maybe something like this: He put his soul into the role. (?)

    The verb elpyä has a passive meaning. Compare:
    eristäytyä = eristää itsensä (Kielitoimiston sanakirja)
    eristyä = joutua eristyksiin (Kielitoimiston sanakirja)

    To make the difference clearer, we can say that you can use the verb päättää (to decide) with the verbs ending with -utua/-ytyä easily. This is not the case with the verbs ending with -ua/-yä:
    eläytyä: Päätin eläytyä rooliin täysillä.
    eristäytyä: Päätin eristäytyä epidemian vuoksi.

    elpyä: Päätin elpyä nopeasti. (???)
    eristyä: Päätin eristyä. (???)

    You have to notice that all the verbs ending with -ua/-yä don't have a passive meaning, e.g.:
    hyväksyä (to accept)
    Hyväksyin sopimuksen. (I accepted the contract.)
    Hyväksyin itseni sellaisena kuin olen. (I accepted myself ...)
    The corresponding causative verb is hyväksyttää.
     
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